Rudd fastest in Daytona final practice

Ricky Rudd and the No. 21 Woods Brothers Ford team paced the field in final practice for the NEXTEL Cup teams. Rudd, who qualified third for the Pepsi 400, ran a lap of 191.906 mph to earn the top spot on the leader board. "We've got a really...

Ricky Rudd and the No. 21 Woods Brothers Ford team paced the field in final practice for the NEXTEL Cup teams. Rudd, who qualified third for the Pepsi 400, ran a lap of 191.906 mph to earn the top spot on the leader board.

"We've got a really good race car," said Rudd. "I am looking forward to Saturday night."

DEI horsepower propelled Michael Waltrip to the second quickest position with a lap of 191. 853 mph. "Slugger (Labbe, crew chief) and all these guys who build these NAPA Chevys, it's a real testament to their abilities to understand the challenges that face them and then improve upon what we just did."

Scott Wimmer, who qualified 37th was the surprise of the session, garnered the third fastest lap with a 191. 655 mph.

"We really sorted some things out from yesterday," Wimmer said. "I am really happy with the car."

Joe Nemechek and Ward Burton complete the top five fastest drivers. The fast lap by Burton was the only good news for him during "happy hour". Early on in the practice session, Kasey Kahne and Burton got together in turn 2, sending Burton airborne momentarily. Both drivers' will have to roll out the back-up cars, and drop to the rear of the field for the Pepsi 400.

"The car didn't feel exactly right," said Kahne. "We probably should have brought it in sooner and worked on it. I was just trying to search for the right lines, but it got loose coming out of the second turn. I'm sorry the 0 car got caught up in it. There wasn't anywhere for him to go.

"This was a brand new Dodge, but the backup car is a new one, too. I'm sure the team will get it ready for the race. I hope we can get back out and practice some tonight, but it's getting late and the skies don't look that good. Maybe rain would be a good thing."

Pole sitter Jeff Gordon was only 17th on the scoring monitor, with a time of 189.470 mph.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ward Burton , Jeff Gordon , Michael Waltrip , Joe Nemechek , Kasey Kahne , Scott Wimmer